We all know about the 5 different senses we have. But did you also know that there are actually lots more than that? The two additions are called the vestibular system and the proprioceptive system.
In this blog I want to focus on the vestibular system.
The vestibular system is our body's sense of balance and helps us to counter gravity, develop balance and control eye movements. The vestibular system is located in the inner ear and is a key part of our body. It makes sure that the right signals are send to the brain to assure the correct balance and spatial orientation when you are moving around.
It is the first system that receive all the information to then send it through the right senses and is therefore very important to function well in every day life.
Vestibular input is necessary for static and dynamic balance development, eye-tracking ability and motor planning. Children who are slow to develop good vestibular functioning are delayed in gross motor patterns which require coordination of both sides of the body. They may have difficulty in maintaining posture, with eye-hand coordination, and with fine motor control.” (Pyfer 1981). Some signs that suggest a poor vestibular development:
Motion sickness beyond puberty
Easily disorientated, poor sense of direction
Poor muscle tone
Delay in postural and motor milestones such as head control, sitting, crawling, and walking
Difficulties in remaining still
Difficulties in space perception
***These are only suggested sign if your child shows any of these sign, this does not straight away mean that there is something wrong with his vestibular system.***
Now one of the main questions that will probably pop up is: How can we stimulate and develop this vestibular system??
Baby Yoga helps the development of the vestibular system by movement, drops, swings and dance. When your baby is gently being lifted up and down and gently being swung from left to right then the vestibular system is sending messages to the brains about whereabouts they are in space and how their current body position is. The brain then sends a signal to their muscles to ensure they do their job. The different holds and the variations of speed in movement is also a great way to develop the vestibular system as the baby's body can learn to distinguish the different speeds they are going in.
Some other benefits of Baby Yoga and the development of your baby's vestibular system are:
Response the position of the head in relation to gravity.
Voluntary control of the head.
The strength and balance to sit and enjoyment of gentle and rough movement.
The preparation for upright position.
Baby yoga also helps to integrate information from many types of sensory experience through its multi discipline approach using music, movement and massage.
I hope you found this information useful and be sure to share it with other parents as it's such a vital sense, that definitely needs the correct stimulation.
If this blog got you interested in Baby Yoga, make sure to sign up for a trial class.